Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's "in My face."

The First of the Ten Commandments says, "You shall have no other gods before Me." However, this is not a passive Commandment. It doesn't just mean that God--as the Giver of life, should be first in our affections. It means more than that.

The "before Me," literally means "before my face." In other words, the false gods--those that are made of wood and stone (as well as the image of God that is nurtured in the imagination of this sinful world), is not something that is impersonal to Him. Idolatry is in His face. It's an offense to God. It angers Him, and for good reason. Inordinate affection tends to do that even in human beings. No parent wants his child to love gifts given to him more than the one who gave the gifts.

But idolatry carries with it even more than inordinate affection. Making up a false god opens the door to violation of the other nine Commandments. For example, a man will not give himself to adultery or murder, if he has a correct understanding of the nature and power of God. Knowledge tends to help us govern our decisions. A wide-eyed imbecile may stare at and hold onto a lighted stick of dynamite; but a man who understands what he holds in his hand will make sure he is a good distance from the little sparkler, as quickly as he can.

And so a man who has the knowledge that the eye of the Lord is in every place beholding the evil and the good, will separate himself quickly from the sin of adultery. He knows that he is accountable to God for every word, every thought, and every deed, and therefore a healthy fear of God keeps him from sin, and will keep him out of Hell.

But the idolater's image of God doesn't produce the fear of God. To him, God is a friend, a buddy, or divine butler who doesn’t mind adultery or murder. Some slow-wits will even pretend that God doesn't exist, and believe that such a delusion gives them license to sin, such is the sin of idolatry.

So the idolater doesn't depart from sin, because he doesn't fear God, and therefore his sin will take him to Hell. Idolatry is not just an offense in the face of God, but it brings in its train terrible and eternal consequences.